Wednesday, June 27, 2012


I believe I took the front windows off right around Memorial Day. I put them on, I think, the day after I took this photo, June 10th, but took them off again and haven't put them back on. If the top wasn't splitting along some seams, I'd have the top down.

It's dry, so very dry here. It's not quite the tinderbox that Colorado, Utah and New Mexico are but there was a report that fires and grills were going to be banned in forest preserves beginning this weekend. There will be no grilling for that family picnic for which you reserved your space back in February, on the first day you could reserve a space. It's just too dry. There is also talk that fireworks shows are in danger of being cancelled. The only "safe" place would be over the lake and I don't think the city of Chicago is doing fireworks at the end of Taste of Chicago anymore. I know that got axed last year in a budget cutting move. Navy Pier always does fireworks on July 4th, again off barges on the lake, so that may be the one place to see rocket's red glare.

It's to be 90 today and 104 tomorrow. I've had the windows open and the AC off the past 2 days. It was lovely this morning and had this been a weekend, I would have kept the windows open until around noon, when the heat begins to build. It will make the AC work less if it's cool inside. I closed up the house, checked to make sure the AC was set for 80 and came to the office where it was 68 in my section. I had to run my portable heater for a bit. The rest of the office is nice. My office is a refrigerator.

Weather people are likening this to the drought of 1988. In August of that year, we had something like 15 straight days of 100+ temperatures. I had a garden back then and I remember water rationing and trying to get the garden adequately watered on the days we could. Our ancient AC unit gave out on day number 10. The service man who came after the heat broke said the freon just gave out. We bought a window fan for the north window and set up other fans to suck the hot air through the house. We covered all the west and south windows to reflect the sun.

Funny how you get dependent upon the cooling ability of central air conditioning. I didn't have that growing up on the farm. I remember nights spent splayed across the bed wishing for any kind of breeze and moving every 10 minutes when your body heat had made the spot you were lying in warm. I can hear the buzzing of the insects from those hot summer afternoons spent lounging in the living room or on the front porch. I also remember Kool-Aid pops and Dad standing on the porch looking at the garden. "This hot weather is good for my tomatoes," he'd say. I remember walking to the corn fields after lunch and sitting under the canopy of stalks, the ground and air in the rows about 10 degrees cooler. You could hear the corn growing and the smell, oh the smell of the earth is a smell I love.

I also love the smell of the earth and the air after a heavy rain born of the clash between hot and cold. The ground almost sizzles when the first line of water hits. I remember a few times being in town and watching the steam rise off pavement and sidewalk after a summer rain during a heat wave. The smell of water and earth is intoxicating.

I'm watering my deck flowers but not the yard. I think watering a lawn is silly and a waste of water. It will return to green once the rains come. If it doesn't, reseed. Put in something that goes dormant in these hot Midwest summers, something that you don't have to water. I should wash the Jeep this weekend. That ALWAYS brings rain, right?

Beverage:  Raspberry Earl tea


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Unplanned Growth

I left the house on the way to work yesterday and spotted something in the pot at the base of the deck.

How the heck did I get fungus in the pot? That's a brand new dirt and peat mix. Something must have become mixed in when I added the flowers to this pot. A check this morning shows them all withered. There's the potential for rain on Thursday but I will probably have to water tomorrow and we'll see if they return. I'm buying more flowers this weekend to fill out the pots. Guess these seeds didn't take either. Oh well.

Beverage:  African Rooibos tea


Monday, June 25, 2012

Using Up the Paint

After finishing the paint job on the front steps, there is still 3/8ths of a can of paint left. I'd really like to use it all up so I don't have yet another partial can of paint in the basement. I took a look at the back door and realized it's been white for decades. You know, a fresh coat of paint would make the door seem new and give the back a splash of color, too. So, I got to work on the door.

Ironically, the blue paint didn't cover the original white in one coat. I was rather surprised by that. It did a phenomenal job covering the steps and the railings, but it wasn't the best at covering the door. I know it doesn't look like it in this photo but this is the first coat and it was uneven. I wasn't going to paint around the windows. I was going to find a small paintbrush and try to not get paint on the window. But really, I might as well just paint and scrape later. Regardless of how good I am with a brush, I'll still get some paint on the windows.

So, I slapped on a first coat and left the door open for it to dry. I was feeling a bit sore from doing the railings and sat down to rest. The paint was drying in about 20 minutes. Mija wanted my lap for a bit so we enjoyed each others company.

Then, I realized the BBC was nowhere to be seen. From outside, there came the chatter of chickadees. I recognized that sound as the one they use when there is something, like, oh, say, a big black cat out of doors. I went to look and there she was, off the deck and in the bushes to the north of the deck. I stomped down the deck stairs. She gave me one look and jumped back up onto the deck and scrambled into the house. She knows she's not allowed off the deck. She hasn't been interested lately but I guess it was too tempting.

I finished the door and left it open to dry. Neither one showed any inclination, after my yelling, "You get back on the deck, young lady!", of going outside. The second coat made the door look marvelous. Now, I have to find my single-edged razor blades and spend an hour every day for the next few days, scraping the paint off the windows.

This really adds to the back of the house and sort of ties the front and the back together. I've received some great suggestions from friends for the color of the windows should I get around to reglazing and repainting them. If I could afford it, I'd have Zeke do the whole thing as climbing a ladder isn't the best thing for me to do, plus, I need to get a new step ladder since mine is pretty much unsafe.

I'm so pleased with the color and how the steps and the door turned out. Somewhere, there is a photo of my door prior to painting but I cannot find it. I'm pleased with myself for getting the deck and the steps painted, long overdue projects. I'm inspired to do something else. We'll see how far the inspiration goes.

Beverage:  Dr Pepper


I found this view of the door pre-blue in the side of another photo. I still can't find the one I took of the door specifically to contrast with these. Oh well.

Sunday, June 24, 2012


Today, I took the final brush strokes to go from this

to this.

I had railings and steps to paint after last weekend. South side steps...

and north side steps.

I worked as long as I felt able to on Saturday and wound up with the steps painted and the front side of the north railing.

You wouldn't think this was hard on a body but I couldn't do more than this. My right knee and hip started really hurting. I decided there are times when pushing through the pain is needed but this wasn't one of them. Today, all I had to do were the railings. South side...

and north side.

As I mentioned last week, I like the front steps because they are unique. This is one time when I rued that uniqueness. Dang, there are a lot of nooks and crannies and sides and bottoms to paint. On the railings the paint covered to 90%. The red hasn't weathered like it did on the steps or the top of the railings. While this is excellent, in some places, if you look closely, the red still comes through. I have used 5/8ths of a gallon so I might, and that's a big might, give the railings a second coat in the fall.

I'm thrilled with this. Any way I look at it, from the south side...

to the north side...

it looks good. And, today I don't hurt as much as I did yesterday. It can rain all it likes now. My painting is done.

Beverage:  Orange Juice


Friday, June 22, 2012

Another Outdoor Project

Behind the house, next to the deck and the air conditioning unit, is a large flower bed. It used to, when we moved here ages ago, have peonies in it. But I didn't like peonies so close to the house. Peonies need ants to help them blossom and I could just see the problems that would create. So, we dug up the peonies. That allowed some tulips which had been buried by the peony bushes to blossom. The area was flowers for awhile and then a small garden when the garden I had at the back of the property got to be too much of a chore.

But, gradually, as my ability to pull weeds and kneel to dig in the dirt became restricted, I fell into a depression about the state of the lawn and the gardens. Weeds and volunteer trees overtook sections of gardens and just grew. Occasionally, I would make an effort to clear something but I tend to look at the huge picture, which makes me very depressed at all that should be done. Instead of breaking things down into, "Do this much today", it becomes, "I'll never get this cleared so why bother?" The futility of doing everything becomes the futility of doing everything and I give up before I even start.

In the glorious warmth that was March, Zeke came over and cleared the yard of winter debris in anticipation of having to start mowing earlier than he expected. One of the things he did was clear the trees behind the house.

I had trimmed back some branches last July, branches that were over the AC and over the deck. Zeke took it one further and really cleared things out. I have this amazing sundial which has always sat behind the house. It was a Mother's Day present some 25 years ago.

Of course, every spring and fall it has to be adjusted so it tells the correct time, but it was buried in the brush. Zeke cleared the trees down to trunks. All I had to do was go out with my Round-Up and spray the trunks. Round-Up will kill the tree trunks and, probably next year, they can be removed much easier.

Well, the weather being what it was, I couldn't get out there to spray. You need 2 days above 60 and without rain. April and May were cool and wet. Trash trees, as we call them, being the opportunistic plants that they are, regrew. The back looks like this now.

Now, I can, very easily, get depressed, throw up my hands and decide I'm terrible; beyond terrible, horrible, awful, for not spraying these back when Zeke had so meticulously cleared the area. That little voice has been sitting on my shoulder scolding me this week when I've come home and watched the trees reclaim the space in this heat. They love it. I feel miserable looking at this and thinking of how it could have looked had the weather cooperated and I had gotten right on it.

I'm going to fight this. First order of business is to get the front steps painted. Then, I will sharpen the loppers, haul the Round-Up up from the basement and get to work on pruning things back and spraying. I've been telling myself, "Baby steps. It's like a cross-stitch. Each section contributes to the whole but you don't work the whole thing at once. Baby steps." It's going to be a perfect weekend to reclaim bits of my space.

Beverage:  English Breakfast tea


Thursday, June 21, 2012

I've Been There

This billboard is adjacent to the Eisenhower Expressway as I was heading west.

I've been there. It was ages ago, but I was there, long before Steven Spielberg.

It was July of 1972. Dad wanted to see the Black Hills so we packed up the van and drove west. We spent a week camping, of which 4 days were spent in the Black Hills area. I remember the weather going from hot to rainy and very chilly. We had come prepared however, with everything from swimsuits for the pool at the campground to sweatshirts and rain gear for walking around Deadwood, South Dakota in a steady rain.

On this day, it was mild and sunny and Dad just wanted to see things. He might have looked at a map and decided to drive west to say he'd been in Wyoming because it's not that far from the Black Hills to the Wyoming border. I remember two lane black top roads and mom fumbling with a map and suddenly, there it was, this mountain. I don't know if Dad knew where we were. If so, he didn't let on. He just pulled over and we all got out to marvel at this piece of stone in the middle of nowhere with no other attached mountains.

We drove for a few more miles and came upon what was the entrance road to the actual Devil's Tower Monument Park. I remember passing prairie dog towns, stopping to look at them and the big signs erected that you must not get too close to a hole because rattlesnakes like to take over burrows. I remember a small-ish log building that served as the Park Service's Devil's Tower Welcome Center. I remember placards which described the discovery of the monument and the legends surrounding how it was made. I remember an Indian tale about a great bear trying to get one of their gods who had escaped to the top of the mountain. The ridges, naturally occurring in the rock as it's of volcanic origin although scientists cannot agree how it was formed, are the result of the bear clawing the sides in a vain attempt to climb this mountain. I like that tale even if the geologic one is quite fascinating, too.

I think this photo was taken when we did one of the hikes available. There was a hike around the whole tower but it was a 4 hour hike and Dad wanted to get back to the campsite at a reasonable time. I'm thinking we did a one hour hike which took you to a shaded overlook with more placards and a grand view the the surrounding area. I returned here 2 years later with a church group and did the 2 hour hike. I don't remember much about that and can't find any photos of it.

Sometimes I wonder what the Black Hills and Devil's Tower look like now. I know Mount Rushmore is more commercialized that it was when we first crossed the wooden floorboards to walk to the viewing platform. I remember the awe I had with the first gaze. Having not seen these places in decades, I'll bet I'd still be awed.

Beverage:  Irish Breakfast tea


Morning Glories

The flowers are coming along.

In spite of the raccoon, the two pots of flowers from seeds are doing well. I'm particularly thrilled with the sunflowers. They are supposed to be compact and designed for containers. They are growing well in this heat. I need to spend another $6 and fill in the white pot and the one next to the deck steps.

I'm also okay with the quality of photos my cell phone takes. For the kind of documentary purposes I need, it's acceptable.

Beverage:  Irish Breakfast tea


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?

As I was walking to the book fair on the 9th, I saw this clock on a building at the corner of State and Jackson Streets.

 I hadn't noticed it before and I've lived in this area for almost 30 years. I'm pretty sure this is not a recent addition to the building. I can't see anyone putting up an analog clock nowadays. New clocks on buildings would have to be digital. Do young people even know how to tell time? Don't they whip out their phones and read the numbers?

There are other clocks at the other end of State Street that are quite famous. The former Marshall Field State Street flagship store has a clock on the northwest and southwest corners of the building. When I started making friends who lived in the city, it was common practice to say, "I'll meet you under the clock at State and Randolph."

 These public clocks were once very common throughout cities. Banks usually always had a clock as if banking made you the keeper of the time for the town. Even now, pretty much every bank sign gives you the time and the temperature as you drive by. We've come to expect that of our banking institutions. Don't we notice in April and October when the time changes and the bank doesn't get around to changing the time on their clock? Probably now, it's done automatically and is rarely incorrect, unlike my office computer which isn't usually right until a month after the time change.

I don't wear a watch anymore. I have several, including a very lovely one Carole gave me for Mother's Day several years go. The batteries have died in these and I don't really have an incentive to replace them. I am surrounded by the time. There are the little numbers at the lower right corner of my computer screen, the clock on the wall in the office above the microwave, which I can see from my desk and my cell phone. A watch is kind of redundant.

Yet, there is something quaint about a clock, an analog clock, mind you, on the corner of a building. It's a landmark. We will lean back in our chairs and talk of a "simpler time", when you paced your life by the clock on the corner of the bank. It wasn't really "simpler", just different. People using the above clock or the Marshall Field's clocks felt just as rushed as we do. They just didn't watch the time digitally.

I know, if you're a certain age, you've been singing that song.

As I was walking down the street one day
A man came up to me and asked me
What the time was
that was on my watch
Oh ye~~a~~h that day

Does anybody really know what time it is
Does anybody really care
If so I can't imagine why
We've all got time enough to cry

Beverage:  Edinburgh's Finest tea



While I was outside on Sunday painting the deck, I kept the front door open so they could come look out and see where I was. They still get somewhat spooked when there is a noise; a creak, a groan, a thump; all those noises that houses make. My going up and down on the front steps was going to scare them so the best course of action was to open the door so they could see it was just me making those noises. In doing this, a pool of sunlight shines onto the rug by the front door and, where there is sunshine, you'll find a cat.

Mija has always been the shyer of the two. Pilchard may run initially, but her curiosity about who people are in her house will cause her to come out and stare at you. Mija generally won't do that. She did come out, cautiously, when Carole and David were here.

Their personalities have blossomed lately. I was so used to a cat wanting my lap when I sat down that the uninterest in my lap from these two was hard to handle. Now that we're close to 3 years together, Pilchard meows when I come home and we must have lap time pretty much every day. I've not been sleeping well and, last night, I went to the recliner to see if I could get relaxed enough to fall asleep. I stretched out and, boom, 13 pounds of black cat jumped up to lie down on me. Under normal circumstances, that would lower ones blood pressure and induce relaxation, but she was talkative and demanding of ear scratches. At 1 a.m., that is hardly the thing to relax me.

Lately, Mija has been sitting with her front paws in my lap as I stitch. She purrs up a storm and is extremely content just to be next to me, not all the way in my lap yet, but partially where I can scratch easily. She's been lying down on the pillow next to me in the mornings. Val told me she used to do that when she lived with Val. I didn't see it until last month. There's nothing more soothing than a purring cat in the morning. Of course, the side effect is rolling over and getting a face full of fur.

We are doing quite well. No cat from hell here. I've been trying to get them more interested in chasing things to work off a bit of the poundage they both carry. That lasts about 10 minutes and then they aren't interested anymore. Oh well. I know that feeling.

Beverage:  Edinburgh's Finest tea


Monarch Time

The milkweeds are all around the house and yard now.

I can't remember if this is early for them due to the weather, or if this is right on time. I just know they are all around the house and yard. 

Where there are milkweeds, there are monarch butterflies. I'm thinking the extended summer days might be good for them. They have more of an opportunity to store up food before heading south to Mexico. Maybe that's a pipe dream, that they can only store just so much and their travel is more timed by light and day length than warmth, but I can hope. I'm waiting to see the first monarch in the yard now. 

I love this photo. The blossoms almost look plastic, so delicate. 

Beverage: Edinburgh's Finest tea


Raiding Snack

In Meredith's big box of awesome, the top item was a bag of oyster crackers. These are a snack she makes from time to time and thought I would enjoy eating when I'm playing WOW. Now, I don't always eat something when I play. I've been eating dried fruit of late, raisins, dried blueberries and cherries. Craisins makes some very good dried fruit although the store brand is also nice. There are times, particularly when I'm raiding, that having a good snack next to the keyboard makes the event so much more fun.

They are good, really good. They are spicy, but not too spicy. I also can't sit down and eat the whole bag. This is about all I can eat in a sitting which is good as I struggle to get over the munchies caused by the Prednisone.

She was going to tell me what's on them, but I don't want to know. I want this to be something she makes, her special food, kind of like I make Italian Meatloaf for my daughter when she comes home. I'm down to the last bowl full in the bag and I brought them for lunch.

Thanks Meredith. These were great!

Beverage: Edinburgh's Finest tea


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Next Crafting Project

With the mug done, it was time to look for the next project. I wasn't sure what I felt like doing, something completely new or finishing something I started. I opted for finishing something I started.

Yes, it's a cat. I don't remember when I started this. It's a kit. It's something small. Not sure to whom I will give it, but I think finishing things which have been set aside is a good idea.

Beverage:  Edinburgh's Finest tea


I Tried to Save It

I know some of my readers have recoiled at the sight of the moth to the right. I used to be afraid of them myself. I don't know what caused me to not be afraid but now, I like to look at them, when they are outside.

See, when they are inside, as this one was, they become play targets. More than one item in the house has been broken by a cat launching itself after a moth that has somehow gotten inside to circle a light. If that's the hall light, well, the cat will just sit in the hallway and watch it. I won't take the fly swatter and knock it out of the air. I'll wait until it alights somewhere and then perform catch and release. You need to have an open window because you're going to be using both hands so you don't crush the moth. Cup one hand over the moth and scoop the other hand under it. There will be just enough space in your cupped hands for the moth to flutter in an attempt to get away. It feels weird but don't open your hands or it flies away, really fast and you're trying to save its life. Walk over to the window and toss it outside by opening up your hands. Be sure you're in a darkened room or the stupid thing flies back into the house. Actually, the stupid thing will possibly fly back into the house even if you're in a darkened room.

At that point, it can be played with. I don't know where it went. I haven't found the body. They might have killed it and eaten it for all I know. I gave it a chance at freedom and to avoid becoming a cat toy but it chose to stay in the house.

That is a pretty good photo of it.

Beverage:  Edinburgh's Finest tea



This is the lower right corner of the front storm door. While I was painting and you can see a bit of an oops on the house there, I had to fend off yellow jackets. There seemed to be roughly 3-4 always swarming around the front of the house. I checked the mailbox, where they had started to build a nest. Nothing. I checked the front light where I'd removed a nest in late winter which I discovered when I had to change the light bulb. Nothing. Then I noticed they were flying into the door.

There is a "hole", for lack of a better description, an opening where the bottom gold part is attached to the door. They have set up housekeeping inside the bottom of the door. This is not good. I'll have wasps in the house at some point, plus, I need to paint the threshold which becomes dangerous with wasps flying around. As I was painting under the edge of the house, I heard a low humming sound. There were two wasps sitting at the entrance fanning their wings. I know bees do that to keep the hive a certain temperature. I'm betting that's what those wasps were doing, too.

Right now, I'm out of wasp killer. There's none to be had in the house. I also can't remember when wasps are at their least active. Is it early morning or late evening? At the end of the month, when I do the monthly grocery shopping, I'll get wasp killer and hose the area down. Then, I'll cover the end with a small piece of duct tape. They will have to go elsewhere. Then I can finish painting the threshold.

You really do have to stay on top of wasp nests. I've had them start to build a nest under deck corners and under the hand rails on the front steps. I remember the basketball sized nest we found in the tree to the northwest of the house when Carole was in 8th grade. That was very interesting, to see all the layers. If they would build their nests somewhere else, I wouldn't kill them. But, I had a cat who was allergic to wasp stings and it was scary when he would get stung. I don't want to find out either one of my girls has the same problem.

Beverage:  Edinburgh's Finest tea


Easily Illustrated

CatWisdom 101 to the right says today is International Box Day for cats. I've given up signing up for cat bed give aways. These two would never use a formal cat bed.

Happy Box Day!

Beverage:  Edinburgh's Finest tea


Monday, June 18, 2012

I Guess There Must Be Bugs

Every morning last week, I would look out the front window as I ate my cereal and see this.

The webs were all over the front lawn. I don't know if spiders are territorial, but some of those are really close together. You'd think they would get into arguments over whose bug that is. I also marvel that there are enough bugs to keep the spiders happy.

Zeke mowed the lawn on Friday before he left for vacation. There are no more webs to be seen. I'm kind of sad because it was quite the novelty, but the grass needed a mowing. With our lack of rain, I figure the spiders will be back in a couple of weeks.

Beverage:  Huckleberry tea


Perfectly Framed

Part of Saturday's running around consisted of heading up to JoAnn Fabrics to pick up the framed Eiffel Tower cross-stitch. When the wrappings were opened, I gasped.

This came out twice as good as I imagined it. I almost don't want to give it as a Christmas gift. I am beyond pleased. When you see things come out better than how you envision it, it makes all the work worth it.

JoAnn Fabrics and Crafts in Bloomingdale, Illinois. Ask for Debbie. She usually works weekends. She's incredible. 

Beverage:  Huckleberry tea


The Weekend Project

It was time to paint the front steps.

Zeke power washed them at the same time he power washed the deck. I could afford to do only one painting project a month and chose the deck for May. June's project is the front steps.

Yes, this is an unusual step design. When we replaced the front steps, I wanted something different, something unique. The hand rails are useful, particularly in the winter. The mailbox is off to the left, out of the photo. I use the rails more now than I did simply because some days hurt more than others to go up and down the steps.

The steps have been this red color since we had them created. It was time to change the color. I thought about it and decided I wanted a cadet blue, a slate blue or a blue gray, not royal blue or sky blue, but a blue with some gray in it, understated but a change since the steps have always been red.

The top, of course, takes the most beating. I've had Zeke replace a couple of the boards and there are two more that should be replaced in another year, probably. That red square to the right is where the milk box sits. The only times I move it are when I'm sweeping the top, at Halloween and when I have to shovel off the snow.

I went to my friendly neighborhood Ace Hardware. The gal who helped me in May with deck stain was there to help me with porch stain. I have no idea what to buy, really. I got 3 different opinions on what was the "best" for the job. I just knew what color I wanted. I figured color would dictate what kind of paint I'd get. I did not want stain. I wanted paint. After explaining what I wanted, they recommended this, same company that made the deck stain. It comes in about 30 colors, 3 of which were blue. I chose this color.

"Now, it will be darker once it dries," they said. It's called "Foothill", which I guess replicates the color of foothills in the distance. It's blue gray with just a small hint of dark green. With the temperatures slated to be close to 90 degrees and it already at 80 degrees at 9:30, I started painting.

It goes on in one coat and covers the red, really covers the red. I was very impressed with how nicely it spread. The color change is startling at first. WOW, what a difference, but it looks sort of new again.

This is all I was able to finish yesterday.

It just got to be too painful in my right knee and hip. I was achy after painting the deck but not in pain like I was with this. I think the difference is that there was more surface area with the deck. I didn't have to move around as much. Here, I had to move frequently as I worked from back to front. And there were times I couldn't sit and had to stand to apply the paint. As it goes on easily, I can work for an hour after I get home from work and finish this over the rest of the week. Because it's acrylic based, the brush cleans up with soap and water.

I really like this. I'm very, very pleased with the end result. I took to opening the front door and looking out just to admire the new color.

It looks good from that side, too.

Beverage:  Huckleberry tea


Another Cross-stitch Finished

Another project is done. The mug is now in the box with other Christmas items. It will probably take me the rest of the year to secure a proper mailing box for it.

Friday Night's stitching.
Saturday stitching.
And Sunday's stitching after working on the front porch.
My source for the Giants logo was this book I got a long time ago. I don't remember where I got this but as a testament to how old this is, the Houston Oilers are in here and teams like the Titans and Jaguars are nowhere to be found. I think I had the bright idea years ago that I would do sweatshirts for family members and that was never done.

I used the Giants logo and then looked up all the logos from all the Super Bowls. Each logo was a bit different although the last two have been the silver, black and gray of the lower right. Very unimaginative, if you ask me. I couldn't replicate the style of the logos but I could come somewhat close and I could do the logos in the colors chosen for that year.

This came out very nice. Once the two pieces were snapped together, which took some brute force which probably means liquid can't get inside where the insert is, I thought it looked quite good.

I added my name and date as I try to do on all of my crafts. The recipient doesn't read my blog so there is no chance he'll see this.

While I know he will be thrilled with this, I don't envision him actually using it for beverages. I think it will sit on his desk at work and he'll keep pencils or paperclips in it. I don't mind. It was a fun project.

Beverage:  Huckleberry tea


Friday, June 15, 2012

I AM Outside

This is about as outside as we get around here.

I was cleaning off the deck on Wednesday after work, clearing away the debris from the raccoon's visit. She came outside and sat on the top deck step. But, the minute I moved or started any sort of sweeping, she ran back in the house. She learned last year that she can get into the house through the window, if it's open.

She jumped up on the deck rail and looked in through the screen so I removed the screen for her. She happily sat in the open window while I repotted plants and swept the deck clear of dirt and peanut shells. I'm sure it makes her feel special and I now right where she is. Mija, on the other hand, isn't remotely interested in this.

Gotta love their very different personalities.

Beverage:  Raspberry Earl tea


I CAN Haz Cheeseburger?

This has to be one of the silliest photos of Mija ever.

Saturday, after the book fair, I went through Wendy's drive-through to get that strawberry parfait they were advertising. (Here's the link to my impression of that.) Well, it's lunchtime and I might as well get something to eat. I eat low on the cost list at Wendy's. I'm very happy with a junior bacon cheeseburger, fries and a drink.

When I got home, of course she HAD to see what I had. If I'm eating it, she needs to know what it is, nevermind that I tell her she won't like it. I let her smell it. She does like turkey deli meat and hard cheese. Deli sandwiches have to be eaten standing up or she's in my face about sharing. Pilchard, on the other hand, couldn't care less. She wants to see what I have but generally turns up her nose at it. They both like a bit of tuna water but not all that's in a can. They aren't really people food eaters, which is good. They don't NEED people food to survive.

Mija was unimpressed by the bacon cheeseburger. It may look like she's salivating but she's really just licking off her nose from the scent. She got down after this and I ate my cheeseburger in peace. I should post this to the I Can Haz Cheeseburger web site with the following caption, "For me? This thing better not have catsup on it."

Beverage:  Raspberry Earl tea